Motorists who speed near schools and pre-schools can expect to be ticketed as part of a tougher approach to the police 'Speed Kills Kids' road safety campaign, timed to start with this month's beginning of the academic year.
Senior Sergeant Doug Rowan, Wellington District Road Policing Group, said motorists who are caught travelling at more than 54km/hr within 250 metres of a school boundary will be issued with an infringement notice - unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.
The national police campaign - introduced a year ago - has been extended this year to include kindergartens, play centres, pre schools and Kohanga Reo facilities. The police imposed time restriction of 7.30am to 9am and 3pm to 4.30pm on school days has also been removed.
"Enforcement, on an at risk basis, will be happening between 7.30am and 6pm on school days to take in children arriving and leaving schools, as well as after-school play and activities," Senior Sergeant Rowan said.
"Mobile police patrols and speed camera operations can also be undertaken at other high risk times, including during the weekends or other times when there are large numbers of children present at educational facilities."
Motorists traveling over the speed limit but below the 5km/hr tolerance may be stopped, warned and given some educational material about the consequences of speeding near schools.
"Child safety is our focus," Senior Sergeant Rowan said. "We want to reduce the number of child pedestrians killed or injured."
Nationally, since 2002 more than 900 child pedestrians have been struck by motor vehicles, killed or injured during school terms.
The most vulnerable age group is between between 11 and 15 years, with this group making up 44 percent of child casualties aged between five and 18 years.
Senior Sergeant Rowan said that speed camera vans in the Wellington District last year spent 460 hours in school zones, detecting 7982 speeding infringements. Police officers detected a further 585 offences during the same period.
"The campaign, supported by extensive advertising, is a really worth while initiative," he said. "School principals are right behind it. Our message is slow down - there is no excuse for speeding near schools."
Media note: Senior Sergeant Doug Rowan is available for comment on the Wellington campaign, telephone 04 439 0824.
There's also a media photo opportunity to launch the national campaign on Wednesday, 7 February, between 8.15am and 8.45am, at Miramar Central School, Park Road, Miramar. The Ministers of Police and Transport will be present, along with Superintendent Dave Cliff, National Road Policing Manager, and other police staff.